Love on Top of Him

You’ll find someone else. A common thing to hear after break ups that can actually be more annoying than helpful in those moments. F is someone that I believe I will always love deeply. I can’t compare anyone else to him because I will never find someone just like him. Perhaps a new love will share similar qualities that are important in a relationship for me, but I’m never going to find anyone even remotely close to who he is. I need to stop comparing or looking for him in someone else, and open my heart to something completely new and different.

About a month ago, when he and I decided to take space again, I told him something in the end of our conversation that I’ve been thinking a lot about. I told him that I had to learn how to fall out of love with him. Whether this is true, or even possible, I don’t and can’t and may never know. I go through up and down moments trying to understand or decide, and sometimes I feel overwhelming peace and other times I freak out inside. It’s very unfamiliar for me to love something or someone so much while being close to them, but not be as close to them as I desire.

I received an email today from a wise and wonderful older friend that made me understand and feel more peaceful with these inconclusive and confusing feelings of love.

“It might sound crazy, but you can love another man as well. And by that I don’t mean settle for someone else, I mean really love someone else, start a family with him and love each other so much. I think you will always love him, but don’t let this love stop you from loving someone else. It’s possible. I know this is probably the craziest thing you ever heard.”

Crazy? Definitely. But I also sense deep truth to this. The difficult part is, as she says, allowing myself to love, and actually getting there.

I actually do like someone else. Someone completely different than F. We’ve stayed up into the night listening to music through cyberspace together for the last two months, and when I went to visit him, I told him how I felt. And despite the complications in my life right now, he likes me too. However, I am so damn afraid of hurting him if we get closer because of this burning love deep in my heart for another. I know that right now I can’t begin another relationship, I don’t feel ready, but I really enjoy what we share right now. I even have some signs of early crushing, like butterflies and smiling whenever he writes me. Of course it would be nice if I could feel ready to be closer to him sometime… but not right now. And I don’t feel the pressure that I have to decide something like this, because we are on opposite ends of the country and won’t see each other again for a few months.

So I can sit back and try to relax in my feelings and feel peace with the possibility of falling in love, even despite the circumstances. I can take this time to love myself and create peace and awareness within myself, so when the time comes, I can follow my heart… in love.

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Home and… the Insane Asylum

I grew up in a beautiful wooden house in the forests of north Idaho. For those of you who aren’t familiar, and I’m assuming most of you aren’t, north Idaho has some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. The towns and communities are surrounded by four mountain ranges, lush forests and the fifth deepest lake in the country. The seasons are rich with winter, spring, summer and fall, something that I could never learn to appreciate in my adolescence.

I remember driving across the two-mile long bridge just as winter began to show itself, the lake frosted or partially covered with ice, light fog settling around the mountains and the sun peeking through just enough to give the winter a warm glow. I lived there until just the beginning of high school. I remember waking up in the mornings of autumn to the sun shining through the trees, our lawn still wet from the frost that had touched the night before, and Andrés Segovia playing throughout the house that my mom and dad built with their own two hands. It was a magnificent house and I lived there until just before my freshman year of high school. My parents had separated and made a difficult decision to sell our home and my sister had left for college and I was just beginning the shit show of my adolescence. It wasn’t just one change, it was many. And I realize that since then, I have never felt home anywhere else. Nothing since then has ever felt stable. It’s been nearly 12 years and nothing has quite struck me as “home”. Since moving from north Idaho after high school, I’ve lived in two (beautiful) states, five cities, and thirteen houses. The explanation is simple, I am just not comfortable enough to ever stay.

Except for now.

What is it about this country that makes me feel so home?

The landscape. The way the sun highlights the frosted fields in the morning. The rainstorms. The sky. The seasons. The forests.

My friends. Their families. Their wooden homes surrounded by forest. The feeling of togetherness and friendship and love. I’m so fortunate to have one of my best friends here, S. She makes me feel comfortable and connected with life and all of her friends are just as amazing as she is. It really comes to no surprise that I would want to live here. I’m surrounded by some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Everyone is part of a consistent, loving and stable group of friends and family. It’s beautiful.

… And then, there’s F. The person behind the reason I am here to begin with. He’s also part of the north. His family also lives in the north, the Wedemark. He’s also friends with most the people I’ve become friends with. While I think to myself, can he please get the fuck out of my life, I also think, can he please just not think so much so we can have a sustainable friendship? I am so drained. I am so annoyed. And it’s making me hate him.

Is it okay to hate him right now? I swear if I see one more “:)” or little jolly comment pop up on my iPad about his fucking poster I’m going to lose it. I love it just as much as I hate it. Because I can’t be myself. If I were able to be myself and not hold back from having a normal conversation, it would be fine, but we’re apparently taking space, again. Which to him means happy faces and little comments. And honestly nothing I do or say can be authentic. I don’t know what this means to me. I don’t know if he’s pretending or if I’m pretending or what is going on. And part of me cares, part of me doesn’t want to care, and part of me can’t care. I don’t know if he know’s that he has made my life a circus for the last eight months. Just always waiting for him to grow up and find that perfect little space for me in his life.

When am I going to grow up and understand that I don’t need him in my life, that there is no perfect space where I fit. This feeling of home is going to get stale as long as I’m kept on the table next to his incomplete puzzle. I’m just afraid of something…? Saying something too concrete and regretting it. Doing something that actually makes it harder for myself. Jumping to a conclusion when I’m emotional. There are a lot of things that I just don’t and can’t know that have really kept me in the “I’m here for whatever” position. I’m starting to feel like I need to stop dragging my feet and do something. I just don’t know what.

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Seasons of Change

At about the same moment I notice the seasons transforming the lush green leaves into fiery reds, oranges and yellows, I notice a transformation within myself. My life. Although I’m not completely moved on from the man I thought I’d loved, and may not be for quite some time, I feel a sort of calm and light happiness. But not the same happiness that I had felt before. I’m happy now in that I am here for me. The feeling of living in Germany for an us, or for the possibility of there ever being an us, is slowly dissolving. Replacing that feeling is now the feeling of living here for myself and making the decisions I do, not for a we, but for a me.

I’m strengthening my independence without a partner, something that I haven’t done in about ten years. I’ve had a few long relationships and a warm body for those times in between, but not really more than a month or two by myself. I find most of my relationships are healthy and I’m not a girl who thrives in co-dependent relationships. To be honest, this is the first time I’ve really felt “broken up” with. About time, right? It’s definitely interesting being on this side of the pendulum. And for the first time since my ex and I broke up, I understand why he talks to me the way he does when we have our chats online. Really, there’s just not that much to say or be enthusiastic about. It’s not that I don’t care, I’m just kind of at loss for words when we try to have a “normal” conversation.

I’m making great friends here. My best friend from the program, T, lives less than a minute from my door and my friendships with my German friends are growing and developing in ways I never would have imagined on my own. I’m heading up north tomorrow to spend a few weeks with my fiancé (Ms. SP) and my friend in Hamburg who I’ve developed a really fun and interesting, connected friendship with.

My leaves are changing colors with the season, and I can feel that soon after their complete and whole transformation, they will fall off and make way for more opportunities for current and new friendships and relationships to grow, my relationship with myself to grow. Is my fear becoming my reality? Am I actually starting to feel okay with having a relationship with him that is less than what it was? I guess what they say is true, that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

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Trapped in the Confines of Mind

The most challenging thing about taking time and space away from someone you love, whether they are a friend or lover, is not so much the fact that they are no longer there physically with you right now. It’s not so much that you can’t talk to them right now. Under normal circumstances, you’d still be sitting on your bed, or wherever you are right now, but safe within the confines of your mind that nothing is disrupted. Everything is comfortable. That person is there for you if you want or need them to be. 

In fact, in the moment we acknowledge that perhaps time and space is needed for yourself or the other, or both, nothing much has changed physically. The changes are more within your mind. Notice how everything is still going on around you? Nothing has stopped. But fear invades the crevices of your mind now. Somewhere deep within you, you know that this change has to happen, but you are still in fear. You are uncomfortable. Everything becomes stagnant. Why?

My greatest challenge is not only acknowledging the idea that there may and probably will be a day that my relationship with this person changes, it’s the thought that I don’t want that. The fear that we will not care for each other as we do right now. The fear that there there will come a day that I will probably be okay with that. I’ll have other things going on in my life to distract me, new people, new relationships, new things going on in my life that take higher priority that will replace the things now that are high priority for this friendship. It’s the fear I feel when the ego is struck with rejection, the possibility that I may no longer be the object of his attention and the most important human being in his life. 

I am aware of fear. I am aware that fear is mind-made and focused on everything but now. So I don’t allow it to effect me like I may have two years ago. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop my mind from thinking. The only difference between now and then is that now I am capable of listening to my mind while allowing thoughts to pass through me instead of holding on to them. But I realize how easy it is to get caught up in the thoughts of rejection and fear. In times when my energy is low and my consciousness is weak, these thoughts can become the control station for my physical self, generating emotions of sadness and anger which then rise up in my body: in my stomach, through my chest and throat, and sometimes water begins to pour from my eyes. What an incredible response to something that was generated in something so abstract as the mind!

And behind all of this: the fearful assumptions that my relationship with my best friend may someday change into something different than what it is now, and that I could actually be okay with this. 

Do you see the irony?

There is nothing to fear when you embrace change. Change is part of the natural cycle of everything in existence. If we never embraced change, we would always be living in fear because we would always be holding onto something, out of fear. A vicious cycle. But don’t try to understand your thoughts generated from fear, that just gives more control to your fears. Just be aware of what is in control right now and don’t fight it. They are not you. They are your thoughts trying to become the pilot of your consciousness. A tough battle to break up when you try to fight it.

I trust that everything in my life happens for the evolution of my consciousness. What happened before is already past, I can’t change anything. What happens next is the future, and it’s irrelevant for who I am now. Live for now. It’s really all we have.

 

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Trust in Now, Broken-Hearted in Love

And then other times, it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve tried or how far you think you’ve come. You find yourself back in a familiar place that you promised yourself you would never revisit. Fighting for a friendship you always feared to lose and now you fear to have. And in the bleakness of it all, you realize it wasn’t up to you. In fact, it never was.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

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Truth in Now, Beauty in Love

BlackForest 1Top down, heater blasting. I’m driving through the mountains of the Black Forest. Thick fog surrounds us and it even begins to rain a little but we don’t care. I close my eyes.

It’s not a dream and I don’t have to wake up. I don’t want to wake up. My life isn’t perfect but I realize it is perfectly imperfect. Of course there are things about my life that activate pain centers in my body; fear, sadness, worry. There are moments where I don’t have much energy and I lose control and I drift away. But there are also moments in my life where I feel that I’m right where I want to be. Chaos, hardships, and everything else included.

I often times miss my best friend and soul mate, the man I love to the end of the universe. I often wish upon a star that we were together. But deep down, in the core of my heart, I feel calm there’s something so bittersweet about this friendship that I love so delicately and wouldn’t give up for anything else.

I want nothing more than what I have. What I want, is now. Everything I want is here right here in front of me, in me, around me.

And about 90% of all my painful thoughts stem from this beautiful, bittersweet, lovely, sometimes intimate relationship that I have with him. Actually, I feel like I have the majority of my life pretty much on lock-down. I just don’t let most things bother me. The other 10% comes from the stress and frustration of things like terrible headphones. It’s interesting that love is what activates my pain centers… and for what? I may not have a warm body to hold every night, gentle lips to kiss or soft hair to run my fingers through, but what I have is something much more. Someone I can be honest with, be my myself with, share every thought with, talk to daily, admit that I miss and I love, laugh with, cry with. Someone I can be 100% me with.

And somewhere in between those lines, there is something not quite identifiable that disables us from having a love relationship with each other.

And it’s moments like these, when I surrender in trying to understand the past and fight for the future, that I am completely content and happy with everything I have. I fall deeper in love with my life.

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Stillness of the Heart

Can we ever make decisions with confidence? Who is it that decides and can we ever be sure it’s the right decision?

For the last year, I’ve been learning how to follow my heart over my mind. I don’t ignore my mind, that’s impossible, but I sit back and I let the thoughts come and the emotions flood over me. Although I can’t ignore it, I have a choice in whether or not to listen to it, and why would I listen to my mind? Often times my mind hurts me. Other times it contradicts itself. And about 99% of the assumptions it makes turn out to be false. So why would I listen? It has no credentials, no good reasons, no real substance- it’s just there, like an obnoxious, arrogant person in the corner flailing themselves about trying to get attention. You just can’t ignore them.

On one hand, it’s easy to let this obnoxious ghost annoy me and effect me. To think about how much I hate it or how much pain it’s causing me. I can attach myself so much to it that it actually becomes a part of me. Like the annoying person. talking about them to others throughout the day about what you think of them, how much something they did bothered you, and even trying to make sense of why they are the way they are. On the other hand, you can choose to see them, and recognize that they’re there, but choose not to listen and not to react. Keep quiet in yourself that this “person” has some issues, but you would rather not get involved. Let them talk, let them flail about and cause a commotion. Don’t ignore them, they’ll just get louder. If they’re hurting you, let it hurt. It doesn’t mean anything. Nothing they say has any substance. Sit back, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths… don’t worry, once they notice that you aren’t listening to them, they’ll become tired and sleep. Then the stillness will seep in and you can concentrate again, on you.

When I reach this state, I have also reached a state where I can trust myself. This is where my heart comes forth and guides me. I’ll admit, I’m not always in the position to make a decision in confidence, especially when my mind is active and jumping in it’s seat, trying to answer any question it’s given just because it wants to talk and wants to be heard. Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate if it’s my mind talking, or my heart. Because sometimes my mind says something so seemingly rational and logical and almost appealing, that it can feel like my heart, or at least I want it to be my heart. And then other times, my heart speaks strongly but my mind is also active, and it refuses to feel the pain of a decision that my heart knows is right.

I can recognize my mind in it’s most active state, but sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between the two. Sometimes I have to fall asleep with a battle of heart and mind, and all I can do is lay there, patiently waiting for it to pass so maybe in the morning I can wake up and my mind will still be sleeping. Sometimes trying to understand is the worst thing to do for myself. Sometimes that only hurts more. Sometimes, sometimes I just don’t know what to do, or how to feel.

All of this may sound so sad and deep and intense, and it is, you know it is. Every human being here is sharing this experience of heart and mind, some just recognize it more than others. I feel that, for my self, there’s something to recognizing it and feeling it and letting it hurt sometimes to my core, because it’s these experiences that help me come to peace with the side of me that fights to hard to be heard for the sake of being heard. My dad always told me that those people who bother or annoy me, who are obnoxious and strive for attention, to show them love. That maybe at home they don’t receive enough love from their family, maybe they were never taught how to interact with others, maybe, maybe there’s a reason, but that for whatever reason, it’s not anything that we can never begin to understand. “Don’t try to understand them. Accept them. Be patient and love anyways”. And while this is true with people, it is also true for one’s self. We can speculate the reasons why we are the way we are, why we act the way we act, and why we think the way we think, but sometimes understanding does more harm than good. I believe what’s more important is putting that energy forth to just let it be. Allow yourself to hear your thinking mind. Accept this. Allow yourself to cry yourself to sleep. Accept this. Allow yourself to not understand. Accept this.

“The truth is, everything will be okay as long as you are okay with everything. And that’s the only time everything will be okay.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

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